Sjoholm’s 64 leads Italian Open
Lee Slattery posted a 7-under 65 in the afternoon wave to grab second place on
David Howell, Richard McEvoy, Garth Mulroy, Keith Horne, Richard Bland, Victor
Dubuisson and Gareth Maybin are knotted in third place at 6-under 66.
Sjoholm didn't shoot the kind of 64 you'd expect. Several times he was erratic
off the tee, but it all added it up to an 8-under round and the first-round
"I hit it basically everywhere. I was in the woods a lot and made some funny
birdies today," said Sjoholm. "It was a big, fighting 64 rather than a solid
64, but it's great fun to be 8-under."
Sjoholm birdied the first hole, then made the first of his birdies from the
trees at No. 3. An errant 3-wood landed in trouble, but he was able to get his
second to the fringe and he poured in the birdie effort.
Sjoholm added two more birdies on the front side to make the turn at 4-under
The Swede flew out of the gate on the back nine. After a par at the 10th,
Sjoholm birdied three in a row, including another tree birdie at 13. He hit a
spectacular second to 20 feet at the hole and drained the putt for his seventh
birdie of the round.
Sjoholm parred his next four after the birdie at 13, but closed with a birdie
at the par-5 18th to take the round-one lead.
"I know that I have to play better golf tomorrow; I'm not going to make these
sort of birdies four rounds in a row," admitted Sjoholm, who is winless on the
It's been a rough couple of weeks for Sjoholm. It's been more like a rough few
months. His last top 10 came at the BMW International Open in June and he's
missed the cut the last two weeks.
"I want revenge," joked Sjoholm. "The last two weeks I actually played quite
"Normally when I score well, I have to putt well. The last few weeks I've
putted quite poorly and missed the cut by one stroke. Both times I felt like I
had a good chance to make the cut, but you have to forget and keep moving on."
Slattery recorded four birdies on the opening side, then parred six in a row
around the turn. He finished in style with three birdies in his last four
"It's a place I always play well for some reason," said Slattery. "I think
I've had two 65s round here before. Last week in Holland, although it's a
great golf course, I tend to struggle on it, whereas this week I can see the
shots. It's nice to open the shoulders a little bit, which you can do here
because the rough is not thick."
Raphael Jacquelin, Rafa Cabrera-Bello, Johan Edfors, Alex Cejka, Michael
Jonzon, Shiv Kapur, Sam Little, Bradley Dredge, Richard Sterne and Edouard
Dubois share 10th at 5-under-par 67.
Francesco Molinari, who made his first European Tour title his national
championship in 2006, shot a 4-under 68 and is tied for 20th.
Molinari had two Ryder Cup teammates in the field Thursday. Martin Kaymer had
a 2-under 70 and Nicolas Colsaerts managed a 1-under 71.
NOTES: Colin Montgomerie withdrew on Thursday with a calf injury…European
Ryder Cup captain Jose Maria Olazabal carded a 2-under 70 on
Thursday…Defending champion Robert Rock also had a 70 in round one.
- Teater tops British Open qualifiers in Texas
- Johnson soars in women’s world rankings
- Molinaro earns first Symetra title
- Johnson rallies to victory in Mobile
- Bae tops Bradley to win Byron Nelson title
- Anderson grabs 1st win at BMW
- Da Silva wins Zambia Open
- Uihlein earns maiden win in Madeira
- McDowell rallies for World Match Play win
- Chella Choi grabs 1-shot lead in Mobile